Jason Fredic Gilbert wrote a piece I loved distilling his wise advice on himself of 20 years ago interspersed with swear words and way too cool pictures. In response, this is a list of some of my philosophies of life – things I believe in and try to live by. My tips are interspersed with very few swear words, less I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude (maybe I need more beer (see JFG’s post) or less (see JFG’s post and below)) and also some photos.
Here you go…
Don’t have agendas with people because otherwise you end up treating them like objects you’re trying to get something out of instead of like humans.
Be as honest as possible. Since you no longer have any agendas with people, you can be as honest as possible without concern. You’d be surprised just how honest you can be and still get along well in this world with the added bonus of building some trust with others.
Drink less. And figure out what your preferences really are. I recently realized I really don’t like raw tomatoes. I’ve been eating them for years thinking I sort of like them because it didn’t register just how much I actually don’t. Same with drinking. Not sure why drinking is so popular today but I’m probably not the only one who doesn’t actually like it as much as I thought.
Don’t make drink, drunk or mass-meat eating jokes. They are juvenile and work for around half an hour in high school; after that find something much more interesting to laugh about.
Never take people’s advice blindly. It’s amazing how much people pretend they know something. As a rule, the more a person acts as though they know A Great Truth, the thicker your skepticism filter should be while listening.
But learn to listen. This point is self serving if nothing more – I hate talking to people who don’t listen (to me or others) and you’ll be astounded how much it helps your relationships.
Let people, including yourself, ask questions more than once. Some things we even need repeated to us our entire lives. It’s OK.
Work on overcoming fears. Although they theoretically help save you from uncomfortable or dangerous situations, some of them aren’t worth it because they prevent you from living your life how you want to. Of course, though, don’t get over smart fears. Now go figure out the difference between the two.
Move more but don’t call it exercise because exercise sucks. So it might be shaking your body up, stretching once every day or so, or finding a dance party you like going to. Just don’t you dare call it exercise.
Be forgiving of yourself. Who you are is a product of millennia of fine-tuning idiosyncrasies. Of course work on yourself but also don’t be so down on yourself.
Be nice, be nice, be nice, be nice, be nice, be nice, be nice, be nice. No, it’s not always easy, and sometimes you’ll fail, but the bookends of this post are “don’t be trying to get things out of people” and “be nice.” Because treating people well is fucking important.